T: My name is Tori. I am originally from Jamaica, currently living in Dallas, TX.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
T: When I began my hair journey in 2010, I was experiencing severe shedding and breakage. After being relaxed for almost 12 years, my goal was to restore the health of my relaxed hair. I watched several YouTube videos then decided to try ‘stretching’ by waiting longer than eight weeks in between relaxers. However, during my last relaxer stretch, I began falling in love with my natural texture. I remembered how thick and healthy my hair was as a child and wanted to see if it would be the same if I returned to my natural texture. I was just tired of relaxers and felt like I needed a change. Around that time I was also diagnosed with Alopecia Areata (an autoimmune disorder that causes spontaneous balding/bald spots), which sealed the deal for me to stop relaxing and just go natural! I have been 100% natural since January 2012 after transitioning for a year and a half.
How would you describe your texture?
T: My hair is coarse and dense. According to the hair typing system, my texture would probably be considered 4b/4c. I have looser coils in the front and back, and tight coils in the top/middle sections.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
T: I usually do braidouts that I wear for 3 or 4 days, then I wear a puff for the rest of the week until my next wash day, then repeat. I moisturize and braid my hair with Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk or Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Raw Hemp Seed Butter. On warmer days, or to give my hair a break, I do protective styles such as braids or twists (with my own hair or with synthetic braiding hair).
What does wash day look like for you?
T: I wash and deep condition my hair weekly, usually on a Sunday. Beginning with dry, dirty hair, I lightly spray my hair with water and deep condition under a dryer with Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle, coconut oil/sweet almond oil, as well as castor oil (applied to my roots). I shampoo my hair with Tresemme Naturals Shampoo diluted with water, then follow up with a light condition with Tresemme Naturals Conditioner. I apply my leave-in (Kinky Curly Knot Today) and styling products to style usually a braidout. Throughout the week I moisturize my hair as needed. I also do other deep treatments as needed, such as a protein treatment with yogurt, eggs, honey, and sweet almond oil. Since the weather is getting more hot and humid, I co-wash midweek (if needed) using Tresemme Naturals Conditioner.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
T: Puffs (low or high) are my go-to style.
How do you combat shrinkage?
T: I primarily do braidouts. Individual braids/plaits minimize shrinkage, give me more length, and make styling a bit easier.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
T: The middle or crown of my hair is the most coarse and tightly coiled section. It breaks easily and requires the most attention, moisture, and delicate handling. My ends also require lots of attention. They tend to get really dry and knot around themselves. I moisturize my ends more than other sections.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
T: Deep conditioning and regularly moisturizing are important. My hair gets really dry and without moisture styling would be impossible. Protein treatments are also important. As with any other texture, a good balance between protein and moisture have helped to keep my hair strong and healthy.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
T: Wash-n-Gos are a recipe for disaster! I jumped on the bandwagon and quickly realized it was not for me. Also, super small mini twists are cute but they take forever to install and take down, plus detangling after they are taken down gives me a headache.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
T: I can be found on Instagram: @Bonafidestyle
I don’t always post videos regularly, but I can also be found on YouTube: www.youtube.com/sexytoria (yea, I hate my YouTube name, but I’ve had my account since sophomore year in college and don’t feel like changing it at this point lol).